Scotland failed to build on the biggest T20 international opening partnership in India as they slipped to a 14-run defeat to Afghanistan in their ICC World Twenty20 opener in Nagpur.
The Scots, without a win in a global tournament, were well on their way in their pursuit of 171 after George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer smashed 84 in 8.5 overs.
But the pair departed in the space of three balls during a collapse of four wickets for just 24 runs to spin and, despite Matt Machan’s 36, they were restricted to 156 for five following some impressive death bowling.
Mohammad Shahzad and Asghar Stanikzai hit contrasting half-centuries as Afghanistan posted 170 for five after winning the toss.
The frenetic Shahzad blitzed five fours and three sixes in a 39-ball 61 from the top of the order before skipper Asghar anchored the innings with an unbeaten 55 from 50 deliveries.
Shahzad struck two of his three maximums in three deliveries en route to a 32-ball half-century, sharing 82 for the second wicket with Asghar, dropped on 23, following Noor Ali Zadran’s departure to Alasdair Evans for 17.
Man-of-the-match Shahzad holed out in the deep off left-arm spinner Mark Watt but Asghar, who hit two fours and a maximum, ensured his side collected 50 runs from the final five overs despite the loss of three cheap wickets.
Scotland’s chase got off to a lightning start as Coetzer carted 40 off 27 balls and Munsey, a regular reverse-sweeper, made 41 off 29.
However, Coetzer pulled Samiullah Shenwari to deep midwicket and Munsey was trapped lbw sweeping Rashid Khan, who also had Richie Berrington stumped after Calum MacLeod was run out following a mix-up with Machan.
Machan kept Scotland in touch and drove Dawlat Zadran for six to leave 29 runs required from 13 balls, but their hopes were ended when the Sussex left-hander sliced a Mohammad Nabi full-toss to point in the penultimate over.
1 – The 84 run stand between Coetzer and Munsey #SCO is the biggest T20I opening partnership to have taken place in India. Foundation.
— OptaJim (@OptaJim) March 8, 2016